North Texas Daily

UTEP downs women’s basketball on senior night

UTEP downs women’s basketball on senior night

UTEP downs women’s basketball on senior night
March 05
22:44 2015

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s basketball team fell to the University of Texas at El Paso 69-61 on senior night at home.

North Texas (5-23, 4-13) came out of the gate strong on a 6-0 run led by sophomore guard Candice Adams. Within the first five minutes, Adams had four points, two rebounds, an assist and drew a charge. UTEP (12-14, 7-10) was quick to answer, going on a run of its own to tie the game at 10. The back and forth affair continued, and the teams went into halftime tied at 28-28.

“I think we played exceptionally hard tonight,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “I think we’ve played hard in our last three home games. I don’t think effort or energy was the issue at all tonight.”

The second half began with scoring from both sides, with UTEP taking a 46-43 lead into the midway point of the half. Junior forward Achiel Tac was putting together a nice game, but picked up her fourth foul with nine minutes left to play and was forced to the bench for most of the half.

“I mean, the fouls hurt,” Tac said. “I was playing well and wanted to be out there to help the team.

The game was all tied up at 55-55 with under four minutes to play, but UTEP outscored the Mean Green 14-6 in those finals minutes to win the game. Officiating seemed to come into question often, with both coaches arguing with officials during timeouts and dead-balls, but Petersen said it wasn’t an excuse.

“Officiating had no impact on this game and it was not the reason why we lost,” Petersen said.

Despite shooting 40% from the field, North Texas gave up two late three pointers and committed turnovers on three of their last six possessions. UTEP senior guard Stacie Telles lit up the Mean Green down the stretch, scoring eight of the Miner’s final 12 points. Adams said the team didn’t do a good enough job of guarding her when it mattered most.

“We didn’t contest the shots or get our hands up,” Adams said. “She’s just a player. We didn’t really have a specific game-plan for her.”

Adams finished the game with 15 points while Tac and senior forward Joh’Vonna Darrington each had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Tonight’s loss doesn’t doom the Mean Green in terms of its Conference USA Tournament hopes, but it doesn’t help. In order for North Texas to clinch a berth in the tournament, it must win on Saturday against the University of Texas at San Antonio or hope for a loss by Rice University. If North Texas loses and Rice wins, the Mean Green will be eliminated from contention.

“Our magic number is still one,” Petersen said. “We come to the gym everyday with the same mentality. We try to win every single day.”

There were 19 total lead changes in the game, with both teams jockeying back and forth. Petersen said his team had a great chance to win.

“We had our chances,” Petersen said. “I think we let this one slip away but I also think we let 23 other games slip away this year. I can say that about any loss.”

The team will conclude the regular season Saturday with a matchup with UTSA at 7 p.m. at Texas Woman’s University’s Kitty Magee Arena. Attendance is free for all.

Featured Image: Senior guard BreAnna Dawkins is blocked by two University of Texas at El Paso defenders on senior night at the Super Pit. The Mean Green fell to the Miners 61-69, Photo by Ryan Vance – Senior Staff Photographer

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